Burying The Socialist Agenda: Speaker Pelosi’s Prescription To Kill Drug Innovation And Access

Speaker Pelosi’s Bid To Micromanage Your Medicine Is ‘Dead On Arrival’ In The Senate


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic House continue to neglect opportunities to find compromises that might actually become law, and instead churn out on one left-wing messaging bill after another…. [H]ere’s what happened last week: House Democrats began unveiling Speaker Pelosi’s handmade plan to have Washington D.C. bureaucrats start micromanaging Americans’ prescription drugs. It’s the same old one-size fits all, government-controlled philosophy we continue to see from Democrats: Forget about choice and competition. Forget about free enterprise and finding ways to unleash more market forces to help consumers. Just give Washington bureaucrats more power to clumsily call the shots and manipulate markets from the top down. Predictably, what this plan amounts to is not an efficient, effective way to help American families; but an efficient, effective way to bring even more of the economy under the bureaucracy’s thumb and potentially set us on track toward nationalizing a major industry.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/23/2019)


Pelosi’s Drug Bill ‘Will Do A Lot Of Left-Wing Damage To The Healthcare System’ And ‘Is A Step Toward Nationalizing The Drug Industry

SEN. McCONNELL: “Socialist price controls will do a lot of left-wing damage to the healthcare system. And of course we’re not going to be calling up a bill like that…” (“McConnell Warns Pelosi's Drug-Pricing Plan Is DOA,” Politico, 9/19/2019)

“The second most powerful Republican in the U.S. Senate on Thursday said that a Democratic plan on drug pricing would not survive in the Republican-dominated chamber, calling it ‘heavy-handed.’ Senator John Thune, who guides votes as the Republican whip, said the plan would be ‘dead on arrival’ if it passed the Democrat-led House of Representatives and went to the Senate.” (“Democrats' Drug Pricing Proposal 'Dead On Arrival' In Senate: Leading Republican,” Reuters, 9/19/2019)

“Pelosi’s plan … appears to be a dramatic shift left for her party …” (Max Nisen, “Pelosi's Aggressive Drug Price Plan Shifts Debate to the Left,” Bloomberg Opinion, 9/10/2019)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “The Speaker’s plan is just the latest example of a partisan messaging document masquerading as legislation, and it has absolutely no chance--zero, zip, nada--of passing the Senate or becoming law. … Speaker Pelosi should take note that we in the Senate have done the hard work of finding consensus with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I encourage our friends in the House of Representatives to stop wasting time and, instead, start working in a bipartisan fashion and work on legislation that can actually become law. Only then will the American people see the benefit of a reduction in out-of-pocket costs for their prescription drugs.” (Sen. Cornyn, Congressional Record, S5588, 9/19/2019)

HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER KEVIN McCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE REPUBLICAN WHIP STEVE SCALISE (R-LA), AND HOUSE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE CHAIR LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): “The Democrat plan released today will not help more Americans afford needed medicine. Simply put, it is a socialist approach to a vexing challenge that demands a bipartisan solution – especially in this time of divided government. The Pelosi plan is a step toward nationalizing the drug industry and opening the door to a one-size-fits all, government-controlled rationing of prescription drugs. This exacerbates the existing government policies that got us here in the first place while damaging the free market that has created these life changing medications and cures. It also includes an unprecedented 95 percent tax on companies, which will subsequently drive out competition and force drug makers to close their doors. Caught in the aftermath of this socialist economic disaster are those devoting their lives to healing others and those they are trying to heal. Congress can find a bipartisan solution to lower drug prices without taking away choice, access, and control from patients and doctors. We have to.” (House Leadership Joint Statement, Press Release, 9/19/2019)

ALL 24 REPUBLICANS ON THE HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE: “We can solve this problem; we have solutions at the ready. We have advanced numerous policies aimed at lowering the costs of prescription drugs. In fact, in May, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed bipartisan legislation to bring down prescription drug prices only to have Speaker Nancy Pelosi put politics over progress. Now Speaker Pelosi is back at it—pushing a socialist proposal to appease her most extreme members. It does not have to be this way; there are bipartisan solutions to bring down prices for patients and create real transparency and accountability for this system…” (Press Release, 9/19/2019)


Government Price Controls Could Reduce Incentives For Health Care Innovation: ‘Some Of Those Investments Would Not Be Made’

According to a 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation poll, two-thirds of Americans oppose allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies if it leads to less research and development of new drugs. (“KFF Health Tracking Poll – February 2019: Prescription Drugs,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 3/1/2019)

“The United States health care system has many problems, but it also promotes more innovation than its counterparts in other nations…. [L]et’s acknowledge that the United States is home to an outsize share of global innovation within the health care sector and more broadly.” (“Can the U.S. Repair Its Health Care While Keeping Its Innovation Edge?,” The New York Times, 10/09/2017)

“Perhaps most important, this country offers a large market in which patients, organizations and government spend a lot on health and companies are able to profit greatly from health care innovation. The United States health care market, through which over one-sixth of the economy flows, offers investors substantial opportunities. Rational investors will invest in an area if it is more profitable than the next best opportunity.” (“Can the U.S. Repair Its Health Care While Keeping Its Innovation Edge?,” The New York Times, 10/09/2017)

“Were American drug prices to fall, or coverage of prescription drugs to retrench, the drug market would shrink and some of those investments would not be made. That’s a potential innovation loss. This is not mere theory, economists have shown. Daron Acemoglu and Joshua Linn found that as the potential market for a type of drug grows, so do the number of new drugs entering that market. Amy Finkelstein showed that policies that made the market for vaccines more favorable in the late 1980s encouraged 2.5 times more new vaccine clinical trials per year for each affected disease.” (“Can the U.S. Repair Its Health Care While Keeping Its Innovation Edge?,” The New York Times, 10/09/2017)

“Naturally, the innovation rewarded by the American health care system doesn’t stay in the U.S. It’s enjoyed worldwide, even though other countries pay a lot less for it.” (“Can the U.S. Repair Its Health Care While Keeping Its Innovation Edge?,” The New York Times, 10/09/2017)

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: “Of 74 cancer drugs launched between 2011 and 2018, 70 (95%) are available in the United States. Compare that with 74% in the U.K., 49% in Japan...”  (Editorial, “Why Are Drugs Cheaper in Europe?,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/28/2018)

  • “Drugs that are approved in foreign countries are often delayed in reaching patients—on average 17 months across 16 industrialized nations, by one analysis. Other countries have lengthy fights about how much the health system will pay, whereas in the U.S. drugs are available almost immediately after approval. Better quality care in the U.S. is why America outpaces 10 European countries on cancer survival rates…” (Editorial, “Why Are Drugs Cheaper in Europe?,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/28/2018)

“Examining the number of new chemical entities (NCEs) being produced is a good gauge of the innovative capacity of various countries. The accompanying table illustrates the dramatic changes from European to U.S. dominance over the past four decades. During the 1970s, the four largest European countries were responsible for 55 percent of NCEs produced by major nations, while the U.S. held a 31 percent share. But over the decade from 2001 to 2010, the U.S. share jumped to 57 percent, while France, Germany, Switzerland, and the U.K. saw their share of NCEs plummet to 33 percent in a complete reversal of fortunes.” (“The Global Biomedical Industry: Preserving U.S. Leadership,” Milken Institute, September 2011)


Pelosi’s Plan Could Tax Some Drug Sales Up To 95 Percent, Potentially Threatening America’s Leadership Status In Discovering Treatments And Cures

 “Drug companies would also have to offer the agreed-on prices to private insurers or face harsh penalties.... The hit to noncompliant companies would be even stiffer than the penalty in a draft of her plan that circulated last week. The penalty extracted from a company unwilling to comply would be equal to 65 percent of the previous year’s sales of the drug in question, but would gradually increase by 10 percentage points every quarter that the company refuses to offer the government’s price, to a maximum of 95 percent.” (“Pelosi’s Drug Plan Would Let U.S. Negotiate Prices of 250 Medications,” The New York Times, 9/19/2019)



Related Issues: Health Care